A's Extended ST: Alcantara Making Strides

MESA - Kimberly Contreras checks-in from Arizona with notes from Oakland A's Extended Spring Training.

Notes from Fitch Park on May 6

- Raul Alcantara threw in a sim game on a limited count and Tom Gavitt was his catcher. All went well! Alcantara had Tommy John surgery roughly a year ago.

- Oakland A's 2014 first-round pick Matt Chapman is on his way to Stockton after a month at extended rehabbing a knee injury. He should join the Ports on Thursday. Left-hander Matt Stalcup joined the Ports from extended spring training on Wednesday and made his Stockton debut that night.

- Injured Midland Rockhounds' starter Tanner Peters is here at extended. His elbow is bothering him. He had an MRI, nothing informative. Rest is the order of the day.

- Utilityman Connor Crumbliss played in the game against the Cubs today, as DH.

- Miguel Guzman, a 20-year-old native of the Dominican Republic added to the Extended Spring roster from the DSL. He is listed as a catcher, here; listed as 1B on MiLB.com. Maybe trying a position change? He wasn’t in today’s game, so I didn’t see him play.

- Speaking of position changes ... it appears that Ryan Gorton, drafted as a catcher out of Oregon State in the 31st round of the 2012 draft, is in the process of converting to a pitcher. Still very new, but the 25-year-old Oregon native is nearing the time when he will face live batters.

THREE HIGHLIGHTS FROM May 6

ONE:

Stop me if I sound like a broken record, but: Trace Loehr is always a highlight! His defensive skills were on display for all to see and marvel in envy! Because Loehr spent last summer in the AZL, his fire; energy level; hunger, whatever you want to call it, is yet to be seen – and embraced – by fans and supporters of all levels throughout Oakland’s farm system.

As one who has seen this almost-20 year old from Day 1 with this organization I will say this: get ready to love him and the way he plays! I’ve seen similarities between Loehr and fellow 2014 draftee, J.P. Sportman. Both with that same hunger, energy and drive to excel. They’re both Grinders.

TWO:

I saw some frustration from the Oakland batters in the first couple of innings. I don’t know if they realized that the first two Cubs pitchers were both big leaguers. The first pitcher, rehabbing RHP Neil Ramirez, made his MLB debut in April 2014. The second pitcher the A's faced is LHP Daniel Schlereth. He was drafted by Oakland in 2007, but chose to attend the University of Arizona, and was later drafted and signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks, with whom he later made his MLB debut. He also spent time with the Detroit Tigers. Schlereth was recently signed to a minor league contract with the Cubs.

These are two pitchers with major league experience. They’re supposed to be better than rookies. The boys did great against them.

THREE:

Catching up with the boys who weren’t in the game: Ryan Gorton, Branden Kelliher, Cody Kurz, Scotty Masik, Josh Miller, Tanner Peters, Travis Pitcher, Dominique Vattuone, and T3 [(Tylers Cubed – Johnson, Painton, Willman.)] Each one making progress in his development and/ or healing and/or rehab; each one understands that things take time, and that their organization cares enough about them to not rush anything.

Those who played today:

PITCHERS:
Dustin Driver – who was not feeling well, but still dominated the 3 innings he pitched.
Jonnie Massad
Derek Beasley
Victor Veliz
Koby Gauna

All looked great; but Veliz was OUTSTANDING; velo, control everything worked.

Iolana Akau DH’d

CATCHERS:
Andy Paz
Robert Mullen

INFIELDERS:
1B: Gabriel Santana, Miguel Mercedes
2B: Jean Carlo Rodriguez
SS: Trace Loehr
3B: Eric Marinez / Carlos Hiciano

OUTFIELDERS:
Vicmal De La Cruz
Rodolfo Peñalo
Jhonny Rodriguez
James Harris


Other Organizational News and Notes

- By Melissa Lockard

- RHP Kendall Graveman had a much needed outstanding start for the Nashville Sounds to end the Sounds' losing skid. Graveman tossed seven shut-out innings in the 6-0 win, striking out five and walking two. Ryan Cook and Angel Castro also threw scoreless innings in the win.

- The A's activated OF Coco Crisp off of the disabled list on Wednesday and optioned OF Craig Gentry to Nashville. That leaves Billy Burns on the A's roster for now. Burns has been one of the A's hottest hitters since his recall over teh weekend.

- Sandber Pimentel had three hits -- including his third homer -- and is now batting .325/.424/.530 for Low-A Beloit.


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